The Google News Initiative launches to give online news a helping hand

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Google logo (Image credit: Android Central)

For the past couple years, there's been a heightened focus on the subject of fake news. Misleading stories continue to pop up online, it gets more difficult to tell legitimate sources from illegitimate ones, and the words of some politicians don't make this matter any easier to deal with. Thankfully, to help make sense of the world of online news, Google is launching the Google News Initiative.

Also referred to as the GNI, the Google News Initiative —

signifies a major milestone in Google's 15-year commitment to the news industry, and will bring together everything we do in collaboration with the industry—across products, partnerships, and programs—to help build a stronger future for news.

Google has three primary objectives it hopes to accomplish with GNI, with one of the most prominent having to do with giving journalists the tools they need to elevate and strengthen the quality of their content. To achieve this, Google's trained its machine learning systems to identify misleading stories during breaking news situations and redirect people to accurate ones.

Additionally, Google's working with Poynter Institute, Stanford University, and the Local Media Association to launch a program called MediaWise that'll help "improve digital information literacy for young consumers."

GNI's second goal is to "evolve business models to drive sustainable growth." Along with giving publishers tools to better understand their audience and know when to present them with subscription offers, Google's launching a new consumer-focused feature called "Subscribe with Google." With this, people will be able to easily subscribe to paid news outlets using their Google account. The New York Times, Financial Times, and The Washington Post are among the first publishers pioneering Subscribe with Google, and more will be coming soon.

Also helping to achieve this goal is a new open-source tool called "The Outline" that'll allow news organizations to easily create their own VPN for securely sharing sensitive data across the internet.

Last but not least, GNI aims to "empower news organizations through technological innovation." Google says it'll be dedicating $300 million to help accomplish all of this, and it notes —

The commitments we're making through the Google News Initiative demonstrate that news and quality journalism is a top priority for Google. We know that success can only be achieved by working together, and we look forward to collaborating with the news industry to build a stronger future for journalism.

What's your takeaway from all of this?

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Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.